I hate the idea of revision being a lessening of some original insight. Most original insights are unoriginal, of course, and this is something I see less of as my “peer group” of poets is maturing along with me. Revision (shared revision) isn’t about dulling the edges of the bright, shiny, ax of your brilliance, it’s about pushing the self-expressive source of a poem forward towards its end goal of person-to-person communication. A poem is more an act of translation than an act of self-expression, anyway. Translation is a social gesture, so it benefits from the attentive, patient, eye of another person.
- Jacob McArthur Mooney, answering Kevin Spenst's editing questions over at his Poetic Edits blog. You can read the whole post here.